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Idukki wildlife sanctuary in Kerala
One of the impressive wildlife sanctuary in Kerala is Idukki sanctuary known for its dense forest area and great location. More than half of Idukki area is covered by forests, due to which the population density is low. The district of Idukki is also known as the spice garden of the state. The Idukki wildlife sanctuary covers an area of nearly 106 square kilometres and spreads over the districts of Idukki, Thodupuzhu and Udumpanchola. The forest is locked between the Periyar and Cheruthoni River. The scenic lake surrounding the sanctuary is beatified by deciduous and ever green tropical trees and a boat ride there would provide you an enchanting experience. The popular Idukki Arch dam lies adjacent to the wildlife sanctuary.
A good variety of wildlife is found inside the forest. Watching them openly in front of your eyes is a matter of luck; however, some animals are usually spotted such as elephants, snakes, wild boars, jungle dogs, dears and bison. A commendable species of birds could be sighted there like fowls, wood peckers, kingfishers, mynas, grey hornbill etc.
Things to explore
- Boating is one of the most romantic options you could do while visiting the sanctuary as this is one of the ways to spot wildlife. Many animals could be seen at the shore of the lake specially elephants as the lake are only source of water for the animals. The cruise journey starts from Vellappara , enters the dam coverage. From there it goes to Noorupara towards Vairamani and then returns from there after one hour. The boating journey is ensured all safety parameters.
- Other than boating there is trekking option through the grasslands when you can enjoy the view of the shoals, hills and reservoir. You may also encounter wild animals as well as birds that would be a memorable experience for the adventure seekers. The trekking route starts from Kuvalettom and definitely you would be provided a guide for your security. The job of a guide provides a livelihood to the locals and native people. The group of people going for trekking must be 6 to 12 person. The route covers the places of Kuvalettom, Kallekkulum, Erattakkanam and Vagvanam within a period of 3 hours.
- Idukki reserve is a less crowded place and it is best for you if you want tranquillity. Several attractions can be covered in one go. The Arch Dam remains open only during the holiday season and is loved by the tourists. So try to reach the place earlier. The view of the two dams, Cheruthoni and Idukki is equally impressive from the Hill Valley Park.
Where to stay
Thodupuzha is the best town in the region housing a few hotels to stay which is 40 km from the sanctuary. Munnar is also there to provide accommodation facilities at a distance of 50 km from the spot. Kattapana is another choice with limited lodging facilities which is 34 kms away from the forest. Apart from these, there are cottages in the forest to stay which are 3 kms from Cheruthoni and 2 kms from Painavu. It is an awesome experience to stay into the wilderness, with cool breeze listening to the song of the birds. There are two cottages with modern facilities, the package of which includes breakfast and dinner and trekking into the forest.
Best time to visit Idukki wildlife sanctuary
In fact, the sanctuary is open to visitors all round the year, but heavy rains can hinder to your enjoyment as leeches are common disturbances in monsoon( from June to September). The temperature is very in summer season, so better to avoid the months of March, April and May. So the best time to visit is from December to early March. October and November is okay during the daytime.
How to go Idukki wildlife sanctuary
The Idukki wildlife Sanctuary is situated at the heart of Idukki district, and roadway is the only mode of travelling there. The nearest airport is Cochin Airport and from there you need to take three hours drive to reach the spot. And the nearest railway station is Kottayam which is 87 kms from Idukki and needs a drive of two and a half hours.